Vatican II and the propers: looking for sustaining quotations
  • smvanroodesmvanroode
    Posts: 856
    I'm currently working on a (Dutch) article on the use of the propers, in which I would like to show that Vatican II was all about the restoration of the propers (in contrast to the hymns we hear today, which are often falsely claimed to be a true fruit of the Council) and was thereby highly influenced by the Liturgical Movement of the first half of the twentieth century.

    Right now I'm looking for quotations of proponents of the Movement, showing their concern for the right execution and placement of the popers. Until now, I found some wonderful lines written down by Pius Parsch in 1940:

    These four processions and their chants are still to be found in our Mass, but only in rudimentary form; now the processions are either entirely omitted or very much abridged; and the accompanying chants have been misplaced, so that they are no longer properly brought to the attention of the people. Our Mass rite has thus lost an important life-giving and dramatic element. The active participation of the people in the action of the Mass might reach its liveliest and most active expression in these four processions—the Introit, Gospel procession, Offertory, and Communion procession. (The Liturgy of the Mass, pp. 84-85)


    It is clear, therefore, that a minor role should be assigned to the prayers at the foot of the altar, and the Introit should again receive its rightful place as the entrance hymn of the Mass. The new Roman Gradual apparently inclines to this view, when it expressly directs: "The chanters begin the antiphon of the Introit as the priest goes to the altar (accedente) ," thus making the Introit again the entrance chant. In the most recent papal Masses, too, the Introit was sung in the old manner, with several verses of the psalm. We should endeavor to bring back the solemn entrance procession of the priest. Today the priest hurries to the altar by the shortest way, as if, one might say, by stealth. Certainly the solemn entrance procession with its accompanying chant, at least on major feasts, would deeply impress the faithful, and be a proper and fitting beginning for the holy sacrifice. (The Liturgy of the Mass, pp. 92-93)


    Today the Communio is not considered to be a chant at all, and it is recited by the priest after the completed sacrificial meal. It has thereby lost much of its meaning and significance, and with it the Mass again has suffered the loss of a great part of its drama and life. Recently during papal Masses the Communio has been sung with the psalm. The latest regulations permit the psalm to be sung in the chanted Mass. I know of liturgical communities (abbeys) where this is done every day during the Communion procession of those partaking in the Mass. How touching the Communio will often be as it is constantly repeated and woven into the psalm! (The Liturgy of the Mass p. 314)


    By the way, The Liturgy of the Mass is a great work and an absolute must-read!

    My question is: do you know other quotations from the Liturgical Movement that point out the proper use of the introit, offertory or communion?
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    Wow, these are absolutely splendid!

    More more. This is fantastic research.
  • Pius Parsch was undoubtedly a visionary.
    What splendid sense!
    There are those, though, who (it would seem) would prefer the exagerated emphasis on
    the prayers at the foot of the altar after the priest has entered 'as if by stealth'.
    I have ever been confounded as to why those responsible for the liturgy's direction after
    the Council directed no text or music at all for the Offertory - only a psalm and allleluya verse;
    and rather truncated bleeps for 'entrance' and 'communion' antiphons.